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Last Cardinal Expected to Arrive at Vatican

ROME, Italy (KTLA) — The last cardinal summoned to choose the next pope is expected to arrive at the Vatican on Thursday, but the date for the conclave to begin is still uncertain.

We may not know how much time is left, but the countdown to the conclave has begun, and crews are transforming the Sistine Chapel for the event.

That’s intricate and serious work, especially when it comes to protecting history.

Crews are building a suspended floor to protect the tiles of the Sistine Chapel, which are hundreds of years old.

We’ve also heard that somewhere in or around the area of the conclave, they’ve placed the technology necessary to scramble any text messages, phone calls or emails.

The cardinals have been sworn to secrecy, of course, but many of them are also big on Twitter and other forms of social media.

At every turn, there is prayer and meditation for this group of revered men to find a way to come together amid crisis, controversy and what some say is a divided church to pick the next pope.

Los Angeles’ retired archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony is making headlines in Rome.

He is generating controversy for being part of the conclave despite intense criticism over his handling of the priest sex abuse scandal.

Cardinal Mahony says he was summoned by a higher power, along with every other cardinal under the age of 80, to do their ultimate job.

Once the final cardinal does arrive at the Vatican, the conclave will not start immediately.

The cardinals will have some time to get together and talk about the issues affecting the church, and only then will they set a date to start the process of selecting a new leader.

-Lynette Romero, KTLA News

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